Thursday, September 1, 2011

6 Printing Tips in Corel Photo-Paint: Part 2

By: Nathan Segal

As mentioned in the previous article, printing in computer graphics can be difficult largely because there's a big difference between what you see on the screen and what appears on paper. This week we continue with our printing tips, which work for the home printer or if you decide to take your job to a printing professional

1. Open Type Fonts

Don't use cheap fonts. Choose Open Type fonts from quality sources. Also, when you send fonts to your printer, make sure to include both the screen font and the printer font.

2. When to Use Bleeds?

Occasionally you'll want to create a layout when you want colors or images to butt up against the edge of the page. To ensure success, set a ¼ inch "bleed" at minimum. Using bleeds allows for proper trimming afterwards.

3. Crop Marks and Color Scales

When sending your file to the printer, use the Print dialog in PHOTO-PAINT to include cropping marks for trimming and bending, along with color scales to check for the correct color in your printed copy.

4. File Formats

When saving print files, your main choices are TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) or EPS (Encapsulated PostScript). Another option is to use PDF (Portable Document Format).

5. Other Considerations

Obtaining a quality printing job can be tough, simply because there are so many variables, such as coated and uncoated paper stock, the inks used, etc.

Before you invest time and energy into a layout, determine the final print resolution and make sure your components (images, fonts, etc.) will support that output.

Create simple layouts to test your ideas and do so at screen resolution. Doing so will speed up the image manipulation process. Before you begin this process, check with your printer first for their requirements.

There are a number of file formats that you can use to send your results to a printer. One of these is the PDF format, which is an output option in PHOTO-PAINT.

Before you start creating any job, it's very important to ask your printer for guidelines as these aren't standard and vary from printer to printer. It's also wise to ask for a color proof, so you can calibrate your system to match the output from your printer.

6. Printing in Your Home or Office

All inks saturate the paper used with your desktop printer, some more than others. With light paper grades, the ink tends to bleed through to the other side more than with a heavier grade of paper. This can cause problems if you want to print on both sides of the sheet. A good overall paper choice is a 20-24 pound bond.

If you're looking for a photographic result, that's not the best choice. Instead, look at photo quality papers, such as those produced by Epson or HP. Also, the color accuracy and quality of your prints will depend on several factors, such as the inks used, the paper and the printer itself. Using appropriate paper from your printer manufacturer will give you a good start.